Leif Isaacson of Terreton, Idaho, Elected 2014 NAAA President
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jay Calleja
Phone: (202) 546-5722
News Release: Leif Isaacson of Terreton, Idaho, Elected 2014 NAAA President
ALEXANDRIA, VA – FEBRUARY 3, 2014 – The National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) is pleased to announce that Leif Isaacson of Terreton, Idaho, has been elected president of NAAA for 2014. Isaacson is the owner of Desert Air Ag, an aerial application business that operates in Terreton, Idaho.
Isaacson’s passion for aviation, long-time career in agricultural aviation and record of industry service make it easy to understand why he was chosen as NAAA’s new president. He has held every office in the Idaho Agricultural Aviation Association and has held several committee chairmanships at the national level. He served simultaneously as vice president of NAAA and the National Agricultural Research & Education Foundation (NAAREF) in 2012. He spent two full terms on the board of NAAREF and has been a presenter for the industry’s premiere safety education program, the PAASS Program, since 2006. Isaacson recently received NAAA’s 2013 Outstanding Service Award for his years of dedication and service to the industry. He received the award at NAAA’s 47th Annual Convention & Exposition last December.
“I feel strongly that I have become a better operator and pilot because of NAAA and the programs it supports, which is why I am excited to step up as president for 2014,” Isaacson said. “I look forward to the challenges ahead and will continue to build on the strengths of previous administrations.”
Desert Air Ag has four turbine Air Tractor 502 ag aircraft, one Air Tractor 302 and an Enstrom 280 Shark helicopter. Wheat, barley, alfalfa and potatoes are the primary crops in Isaacson’s trade area. Potatoes require the most care and represent about half of the company’s aerial application work. Alfalfa accounts for 25 percent and the remaining 25 percent comes from treating malt barley and wheat. During peak operating times, Isaacson has a crew of 20, including five pilots. Unlike other operations, Desert Ag Air’s ground crew consists mostly of women. Isaacson says he finds that the women he has employed as mixer/loaders are more precise, easier on equipment and more dependable than some of their male counterparts.
“Leif has always been engaged, selfless and passionate about what is best for our industry,” said former NAAA President Rod Thomas, Isaacson’s friend and a fellow Idahoan. “I am sure that his time as president will demonstrate to others what I have known for over 20 years about Leif’s quality and integrity.”
An optimist by nature, Isaacson sees more opportunities than challenges ahead for the aerial application industry. “Everything is an opportunity for us, but our biggest challenge is public relations. If we represent ourselves well, we’ll be in good shape,” he said. “We have a great opportunity right now to capitalize on the success of the Disney movie Planes and it reaching a generation of youngsters who will think positively about our industry. We need to let people know we’re doing good work out here and it is our responsibility to teach it.”
Serving alongside Isaacson on NAAA’s 2014 officer team are Vice President Perry Hofer of Doland Aerial Spraying, Doland, S.D.; Secretary Glen Wharam of Valley Sprayers Inc., Park River, N.D.; and Treasurer Craig Craft of Craft Air Services LLC, Hertford, N.C. NAAA’s full Board of Directors consists of 42 State, Regional and Allied Industry Directors, the NAAA officer team, the WNAAA and NAAREF Presidents, the immediate past treasurer and last five past presidents, as well as numerous committee appointees.
The National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) represents more than 1,800 members in 46 states. NAAA supports the interests of small business owners and pilots licensed as professional commercial aerial applicators that use aircraft to enhance food, fiber and bio-fuel production, protect forestry and control health-threatening pests.